NEW YORK BBC World is marking its U.S. launch today with an interactive outdoor campaign that invites passersby on the streets of midtown Manhattan to vote on a number of key issues.
Created by BBDO in New York, stage one of the $1 million BBC World campaign is designed to convey the channel's mandate of presenting unbiased international news. A digital billboard erected on the corner of Broadway and 50th Street displays news images and asks people to text in their votes on issues such as immigration reform and the avian flu outbreak.
The votes will be tallied in real time, and updated tallies will be broadcast twice each day for the duration of the promotion on WFAN's Imus in the Morning radio program.
Other elements of the campaign include building wraps that underscore BBC World's intention to deliver "both sides of the story," and a series of trompe l'oeil images posted in various outdoor settings and in the interiors of commuter rail trains and on subway platforms. The third element launches June 5, and will also be featured as a special insert in the Financial Times and Newsday later this month.
"Research shows us that American viewers are increasingly interested in international news, yet most U.S. news networks are spending less airtime on international news stories," said Seema Kotecha, head of marketing at BBC World. "We hope to fill this gap in the market and are delighted to have the opportunity to bring our 24-hour global coverage and analysis to North American shores for the first time."
BBC World channel is now available to Cablevision's digital subscribers, via a distribution arrangement with Discovery Communications. Special 30-minute BBC World programs are also aired each day on PBS, and a three-hour weekday morning news block can be seen on BBC America.
Mediaedge:cia handles stateside media buying and planning for the network.
The network is the first international news channel to launch in the U.S. The Qatar-based Al Jazeera International, which is expected to begin broadcasting globally later this month, thus far has had no luck securing carriage agreements in the U.S.